Saturday, September 9, 2017


About 10 student leaders in Swaziland have been arrested following protests at the kingdom’s principal university.

No charges have been publicly revealed and the students are due to appear at magistrates court on Saturday (9 September 2017).

The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) a pro-democracy group banned in Swaziland where King Mswati III rules as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, said in a statement, ‘The Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS) reports that during a student boycott at the University of Swaziland (UNISWA), particularly at the Luyengo Campus, Sibusiso Siyaya, SRC President was arrested. This was on Friday 8th September, 2017. 

‘This was when the students leader had gone to the police station to check on about nine of his colleagues arrested earlier. They are due to appear in court today [Saturday 9th September, 2017,]. It is not clear what offence they have committed or charged with.’

Students are engaged in ongoing protests, the SSN reported.

It said, ‘SSN supports the legitimate demands by the students as stated below:
1.      Accommodation for more than 600 students who are still without accommodation, mostly those doing their first year and others.
2. Release of book allowances currently not accessible at the bookshop. It is unfathomable that lectures continued whilst some students did not have required books and stationery.
3. Dropping of prices of refectory which were abruptly increased without any communiqué and engagement of relevant structures such as the SRC.
4. The university never signed a circular which was distributed to all tertiary institutions which comes with changes in allowance payments to Swaziland Government sponsored students. The arrangement was that these beneficiaries would be paid directly from the Ministry of Labour. Students need answers from the university administration.
5. Swaziland Government sponsored students need their meal allowances since they are forced to go to class on an empty stomach. The university opened three weeks ago.
6. Unbanning of student body meetings which were banned by the Vice Chancellor in March this year.’

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